Today my wife informed me a kid told my son “I’m going to shoot you with a gun” at school. My son is in preschool.
Obviously, some kind of conversation will be happening, and it will start with reporting this to the school. I would also like to know if the parent(s) own guns, and if they do, I would like to know how they secure them.
As a parent, do I have a right to know this? I don’t know.
Over the weekend, my parents saw The Hobbit. My mom told me she saw lots of kids there, including a few who looked as young as 5 or 6. During the movie, she heard crying.
There have been some big numbers about exposure to violence worth repeating here:
By the time kids enter middle school, they will have seen 8,000 murders and 100,000 more acts of violence on broadcast TV alone.
As a high schooler, I had plenty of righteous indignation over my parents objections to my musical tastes. I loved Pantera and Marilyn Manson, and even listened to stuff like Morbid Angel and Deicide.
I also played an early first-person shooter game called Marathon, though the carnage was nothing compared to what exists today.
But with Columbine, 9/11, and the subsequent horrors that have been unleashed, our social environment is more infused with violence than its ever been, especially when it comes to “entertainment” (insert comment about Zero Dark Thirty here)
The picture that heads up this post is from a book written and illustrated by Mercer Mayer, titled There’s A Nightmare In My Closet, first published in 1968. My wife checked it out at the library last week.
But when she was reading it, and the little boy with his cap gun and little army helmet said “Go away, Nightmare, or I’ll shoot you,” she decided it wasn’t getting subsequent reads.
It may be one little choice to minimize my kids’ exposure to the violent impulses that exist, impulses they will eventually be exposed to in a culture that glorifies violence, but it’s better than feeling totally powerless.